Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small falcons belonging to the genus Falco that are distributed worldwide, especially the American kestrel and the European kestrel.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various small falcons of the genus Falco that hover while hunting.
  • n. The common kestrel, Falco tinnunculus

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small, slender European hawk (Falco alaudarius), allied to the sparrow hawk. Its color is reddish fawn, streaked and spotted with white and black. Also called windhover and stannel. The name is also applied to other allied species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A common European falcon, Falco tinnunculus, Tinnunculus alaudarius, or Cerchneis tinnunculus, of small size and reddish color.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small Old World falcon that hovers in the air against a wind
  • n. small North American falcon

Etymologies

Probably from obsolete French cresserelle, from Old French cresserele, probably from cresselle, clacker, kestrel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English castrel ("staniel, bird of prey"), from Middle French cresserelle, crecerelle ("bird of prey"), derivative of crecelle ("rattle, wooden reel"), of obscure origin. (Wiktionary)

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